Firstly, a very Happy New Year to you guys! This is officially my first post of the year, so yay! Anyway my first post this year is another Fitting Out story that I’ve been eagerly waiting to share. And here it goes:
” When I realised I was asexual I had hit puberty and my classmates were getting increasingly sexual. I, on the other hand, remained the same. The apparent change in sexuality was more pronounced when I shifted to a new school. I was still the same person. I knew all the jargon but felt none of the hormonal urges. I read up a lot about what I was missing out on. I didn’t, however, read anything on asexuality because I did not know that such a term existed. So I hid behind a mask of knowledge and double meaning jokes. I faked it till I could convince everyone that yes, I wanted to make out with that cute boy. But I never believed it. Once I entered eleventh grade, any ounce of sexuality I may have had (highly unlikely) was further pushed in the background till it merged with the obscure blankness of the unknown. This was the time when I didn’t care about the fact that I had friends or not. I became secluded (not related to asexuality but to the fact that I started reading novels and studying). My friends were the boys in my group with whom I discussed problems and novel storylines (they read too, much to my surprise). I made a few strong friends here, some of whom I still talk to. Anyway, I digress. So, still asexual. I first heard the term while reading about LGBT. I wanted to know what was happening to me (I thought maybe I was a lesbian). No one knew much about it at that time but the definition of asexuality clicked with me. I knew that I was an asexual. I never told anyone about it though.
When I told my family about being an asexual I completed my school without any event and entered college. It was a fun transition for me, one that I enjoyed a lot. I got to start over with a completely new and random set of people. I cut my hair short, changed my wardrobe (mom helped with that), and slept off the exhaustion of the last two years. But I still was an asexual. I saw how the females reacted in the presence of attractive males and my reaction wouldn’t be the same. They noticed this and I was mockingly termed half-male, half-female. I had no issues with that and I went along with this label. They didn’t mean any harm. After my first year, I made amazing friends. I met two brave individuals (Anwesh and a boy from my school) who are homosexuals and who are supported by their family and friends. I saw the love they got and thought of telling my family. This asexuality posed a problem for any possibility of marriage since my parents want me to have an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, the poor unsuspecting husband wouldn’t know that his wife is an asexual and doesn’t want to have sex. He would expect sex and would feel cheated. So, I had ruled out marriage a long time ago (since the time I realised that I was an asexual) unless I fall in love with a man who understands what he’s getting into and still wants me. I sat my parents down and told them that I wouldn’t get married, definitely not an arranged marriage. They reacted with shock. I put forward my reasons (asexuality being the brightest point). My parents said that this was a good thing and that I would grow out of it once I got married. I said that I wouldn’t. This was permanent. It wouldn’t change. They refused to listen, to understand. So I let it pass resolving to tell them this again. My sibling reacted much better and was genuinely happy for me. Fast forward one year. I decided to tell my parents once again, this time separately. So, father first. Same response, “it’ll pass, it’s good that you don’t feel this right now” and nervous giggling. My mother, too, reacted the same way. My only option was to make them read articles on asexuality. They both support the LGBT campaign. They would support this too once they realised that I won’t just ‘get over it’. And I did just that. Third time’s the charm I guess because my parents finally understood what I was talking about and supported me. I still have not told my friends and other members of my family but over time, I will. Till then, I shall remain anonymous.”
Like I had mentioned in my previous posts, I had taken my campaign #FittingOut to the Annual Delhi Pride Parade this year and had asked people to share their Fittingout stories. They were all so beautiful and moving and I’m so glad to be finally putting all of them together for you guys to read. So *drum rolls* and here it goes:
“Like most of the introvert kids in my school, I tried fitting into groups that led to me being a kind of individual I wasn’t. And I resented that a lot! Not bothering yourself with the negative things that people have to say about you only leads to a positive discovery of oneself.”
“I was a little tomboyish at school and I never liked wearing skirts and all the other stuff that women are supposed to wear. I’m usually very friendly with people and that was also why I was so popular at school. So yeah, I’m happy fitting out and I think if you fit out you make an identity for yourself.”
“I’ve always supported LGBTQI rights and I think it’s absolutely normal. But my parents and my acquaintances have always asked me to not put forth my views out in the public. But I do that anyways.”
“I had no particular group that I belonged to in school. In fact I was that one girl who was mostly punished during classes. I have curly hair and people would often want me to have them straightened.
I think love is love. The queer community is so misunderstood and people aren’t exactly aware of their struggles and the challenges they face. People are always so quick to judge them which I think needs to change.”
“I’ve come out only recently to myself as bisexual and this is my second pride, however the first after coming out to myself. Though my office colleagues very actively support the queer community, I haven’t come out to them yet.”
“I used to play the female characters in school plays and most of my guy friends were cool with it. In fact I was in an all boys’ school, so the guys had to play the female parts and while all other boys would run away, I’d happily volunteer. My parents weren’t aware of my trans-fluidity until a year ago, in fact my dad still doesn’t know but my mum supports me a lot and has given me the freedom to be who I want to be.”
Back in 2011, I chose to be a part of a dance routine at my school’s Annual day that turned out to be the beginning of a new me. It was a semi classical dance routine and had ninety girls with me being the only guy.
One of the girls came up to me and condescendingly asked me, “Are you too a part of the group?” I said yes. She gave me a look and walked off. That upset me and this particular episode stayed with me for a while and I kept thinking of how difficult it was for me to fit in. Then Steven Retchless in his high heels happened to me and I realised how I did not have to be sorry for being who I am.
I didn’t have to fit in anymore. I’d rather be #FittingOut. Because you’re original and you were meant to stand out. I was also there at the Annual Delhi Pride Parade with my campaign and I’ll be sharing all the interesting Fitting Out stories I came across in the future posts.
And now for the bigger news I had been waiting to share with all you guys. I made it through the first round for Mr Gay World India 2016 and I am also done shooting the pictures for the same. I have been working very hard for the competition and it has been a dream since 2012. I am currently waiting for the results for the next set of rounds. MGW would be a huge platform for me to voice my opinion and belief and do my bit in bringing a positive change in the world. Let’s hope for the best and #Fingerscrossed.
It also makes me super happy to finally share the #FittingOut campaign video. This would not have been possible without Rahul from Artists at Work Productions backing this video since the beginning. This man is the boss. I can’t thank all my friends enough for being a constant support. Let’s make this world a place where being queer isn’t looked down upon. We all deserve to live a life filled with happiness and respect. Let’s all put a little of our efforts into making that dream come true.